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Yamanashi, Japan, Lawson store with Mount Fiji view
Photograph: Shutterstock

A Japanese town is building a wall to block tourists from seeing popular Mount Fuji view

Following the announcement of a new tourist fee on the mountain’s Yoshida trail from July, authorities in Fujikawaguchiko have taken things a step further

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Japan is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations – with so much to do and seeit’s no wonder so many tourists want to go back for more. But that popularity comes with a price, and the residents of Fujikawaguchiko are just about done with overtourism in their town.

Following the recently announced plans to introduce a compulsory entry fee on one of Mount Fuji’s most popular hiking trails, authorities in this small resort town at the foot of the mountain have announced they’ll be taking further action. 

In a drastic move, the town has stated plans to build a barrier in front of the Lawson store, which provides stunning views of Mount Fuji.

According to Travel Tomorrow, the local community has been struggling with high tourist numbers, and locals are especially upset by people leaving litter in front of the shop, ignoring traffic regulations and overcrowding the pavements.  

While there are hopes this screen will not only deter visitors, protect the natural environment and prevent damage to the building and local businesses, it’s not without its critics. Expected to be 20 metres long and 2.5 metres tall once complete in mid-May, some residents think this solution undermines Japan’s spirit of hospitality, and is a step too far. 

This isn’t the first time a barrier has been built to deter visitors from popular tourist sites – Hallstatt in Austria did something similar back in August

Japan does welcome an exceedingly high number of visitors. Three million people arrived in the country in March alone, and at Mount Fuji, 65,000 hikers have climbed to the top of the summit since the season began in July 2023, which is a 17 percent increase from 2019’s numbers. 

More on overtourism measures in Japan

While this measure might seem drastic, Japan has been struggling with the impact of high visitor numbers for some time. Back in October, we reported that the government had announced a new series of anti-overtourism measures, and in March that Kyoto had banned tourists from its Geisha district

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